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Wed Feb 1, 2012, 05:53 PM

 

Why do you think our flag is so great?

Serious question here. Try to check your patriotism at the door, and take a look at the US flag from someone else's perspective.

Let's say, the perspective of a villager in Afghanistan or Iraq. The US you know bombs your homes, your towns, your friends and family. Before 2001, you had no idea what America even was. Now you know them as the destroyers. The only Americans you ever met were armed to the teeth, and when driving tanks through your towns, they could not stop, even if a person got in their way. Sure, you might have seen that flag on bags of rice dropped from above, but this rice, as far as you can tell, is for the black markets. No one you know ever gets a hold of one of them. The landmines in your area all have "Made in the USA" on them. You have a few friends who lost limbs or lives because of this.

Now, is the US Flag still great? Is it still the beacon of freedom, the city shining on a hill?

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Arrow 51 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why do you think our flag is so great? (Original post)
Taverner Feb 2012 OP
PDJane Feb 2012 #1
baldguy Feb 2012 #2
Taverner Feb 2012 #3
baldguy Feb 2012 #5
Taverner Feb 2012 #13
amyrose2712 Feb 2012 #43
qazplm Feb 2012 #4
Taverner Feb 2012 #12
qazplm Feb 2012 #21
Taverner Feb 2012 #23
qazplm Feb 2012 #29
Muskypundit Feb 2012 #44
soc7 Feb 2012 #6
Taverner Feb 2012 #9
Uncle Joe Feb 2012 #7
Cali_Democrat Feb 2012 #8
Taverner Feb 2012 #10
Cali_Democrat Feb 2012 #11
Taverner Feb 2012 #14
qazplm Feb 2012 #31
emulatorloo Feb 2012 #47
qazplm Feb 2012 #24
HopeHoops Feb 2012 #15
Taverner Feb 2012 #17
HopeHoops Feb 2012 #25
Angry Dragon Feb 2012 #16
jakeXT Feb 2012 #18
Guy Whitey Corngood Feb 2012 #19
T S Justly Feb 2012 #20
Loudmxr Feb 2012 #22
MichaelMcGuire Feb 2012 #38
JSnuffy Feb 2012 #26
Tierra_y_Libertad Feb 2012 #27
Warpy Feb 2012 #28
qazplm Feb 2012 #30
Warpy Feb 2012 #33
qazplm Feb 2012 #36
libodem Feb 2012 #32
onenote Feb 2012 #34
sabrina 1 Feb 2012 #48
hack89 Feb 2012 #35
Throd Feb 2012 #37
jberryhill Feb 2012 #39
Muskypundit Feb 2012 #45
Thaddeus Kosciuszko Feb 2012 #40
amyrose2712 Feb 2012 #41
sylveste Feb 2012 #42
Muskypundit Feb 2012 #46
Kellerfeller Feb 2012 #49
MineralMan Feb 2012 #50
treestar Feb 2012 #51

Response to Taverner (Original post)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 05:54 PM

1. No.

And if you believe that action against the flag is somehow something that should be punished, you are a believer in magic.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 05:57 PM

2. The Flag is honored for the values it's *supposed* to represent.

It gets burned when we fail to uphold those values.

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Response to baldguy (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 05:58 PM

3. Then it should have been duraflame material since it was first raised.

 

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Response to Taverner (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 06:02 PM

5. The best flame retardent would be to enact policies which actually promoted Freedom & Liberty

At home & around the world.

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Response to baldguy (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 06:10 PM

13. That would be nice. Hell, it would be nice for the US to live up to even ONE of its ideals

 

But to me, the USA is nothing like it's ideals, and never has been.

Whether it was our genocide of Native Americans, the enslavement of Africans, the Japanese internment camps, My Lai, Panama, pretty much everything we ever did South of our borders, the wars for oil, the invasions of Hawaii, Phillipines, Puerto Rico and Cuba, or any of our current policies.

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Response to Taverner (Reply #13)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 07:27 PM

43. I wish this had a like button. +100

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 05:59 PM

4. flags represent ideals

that we've fallen short of them does not make the ideals any less, well ideal, nor does it make the symbol of those ideals any less worthy of awe.

This isn't simply about patriotism, but the fact of the matter is, we are Americans, thus we are part of a group. We can bemoan the actions of the group all we want but we are still part of Team USA, so simply saying, boy do we suck really bad is fairly meaningless.

There are other folks who see our flag, and remember the Marshall Plan, or the liberation of Paris, or see it on food aid, or disaster aid, or see it as a new opportunity to improve their station.

So, like everything in life, like every group of people in life, some folks see the good side, and some folks see the bad side, because there are both in every group, Americans, British, Russians, Iraqis, everyone.

I see the flag and I see what we can be at our best. That doesn't prevent me from recognizing what we can be at our worst. I don't have to hate the flag to recognize the latter.

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Response to qazplm (Reply #4)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 06:08 PM

12. The Marshall plan was a long time ago

 

And I take issue with that, specifically how much the Marshall plan was tied to Operation Paperclip and The Odessa File.

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Response to Taverner (Reply #12)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 06:22 PM

21. then pick whatever

good things we do that aren't tied to whatever bad things you think we do.

Or are you one of those "the US is the source of all evil and never does anything good" people?

If not, then it ain't hard to come up with reasons why folks might still look at the flag in a positive manner, just like it also isn't hard to come with folks who might look at the flag in a pretty negative manner. Like most things, it's a mixed bag.

If so, then you are an extremist on this issue, and not worth engaging with.

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Response to qazplm (Reply #21)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 06:24 PM

23. No, I think all governments and all corporations are the source of all inequality

 

There has never been a state that has served anyone other than the very rich.

There was a time after WWII when we tried to get it to serve other people, but that's long gone. Killed by Reagan.

We aren't the good guys.

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Response to Taverner (Reply #23)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 06:28 PM

29. If only the very rich were truly served

there would be no OSHA, no welfare, no minimum wage, no 40 hour work week, or a host of other laws.

The rich are certainly OVER-served by government, of that there is no doubt, but the uber-cynicism you display is no more accurate than the uber-naivete shown by those on the other side of the spectrum that if everyone would just work hard we'd all be rich.

Engaging in hyperbole doesn't solve anything, it just turns folks off to valid criticisms/issues/problems. I prefer to continue to fight the battle then assume we are bad guys and thus all is lost.

We ain't, and it isn't.

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Response to qazplm (Reply #29)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 07:35 PM

44. +1

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 06:04 PM

6. yes and yes.

 

n/t

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Response to soc7 (Reply #6)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 06:06 PM

9. Thank you, Ronald Reagan....

 

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 06:04 PM

7. Because it's ours, that's what this all boils down to.

Flags are gang colors at the macro level, red for bloods, blue for crypts etc. etc.

At its' best flags serve as unifying symbols, at its' worst, flags become idols for people; whom have forgotten their way.

Thanks for the thread, Taverner.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)


Response to Cali_Democrat (Reply #8)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 06:07 PM

10. Exactly.

 

We can deceive ourselves into thinking we're the good guys. But we aren't.

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Response to Taverner (Reply #10)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 06:08 PM

11. I deleted my post

I don't want to be scolded by the usual suspects for being "unpatriotic"

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Response to Cali_Democrat (Reply #11)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 06:12 PM

14. This is sad. There was a time when you could speak your opinion here

 

That time seems to have gone away.

Oh, and let me say this so everyone can hear me

FUCK PATRIOTISM!!!!!

Patriotism is fetishism of flags, and sheeplike behavior.

I want nothing to do with it.

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Response to Taverner (Reply #14)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 06:31 PM

31. I must have missed it

but who exactly stopped him from speaking his opinion?

You clearly haven't been stopped.

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Response to Taverner (Reply #14)

Thu Feb 2, 2012, 12:46 AM

47. What is sad? Nobody is stopping you, Cali Democrat, or anybody else from expressing an opinion.

as Gazpalm pointed out.

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Response to Taverner (Reply #10)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 06:25 PM

24. there are no "good guys"

there are folks who are varying shades of gray in that they do good and they do bad, with the hope they try or do more of the former than the latter.

But if you can name the last entity in human existence with any significant power that was a "good guy" who never did bad things with that power intentionally or unintentionally, please let me know.

I think we try to be the good guys. I think sometimes we succeed, and other times we fail, and sometimes, we fail miserably. I think the same can be said of Russia, or Britain, or Germany, or China, or most of the other major-minor powers in the world.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 06:13 PM

15. Because it has changed with time, as it was intended to.

 

Other than that, just the usual reasons - it's my fucking country, damn it!

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Response to HopeHoops (Reply #15)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 06:18 PM

17. Is it really your country tho?

 

Do your representatives listen to you? Not just glad hand, but do they actually listen?

In my opinion the USA is property of corporate America. There is no division between corporation and state: one (the state) serves the other (corporations.)

This is my home, but this is not my country. I didn't leave it - it left me.

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Response to Taverner (Reply #17)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 06:26 PM

25. It's still our flag and one of the beauties of it is that it is legal to burn it.

 

Yes, it is just a piece of cloth, just a symbol, nothing to get worked up over, but it also represents the right to express yourself by destroying it. While I don't agree with burning it (other than to give it a proper ending as specified in the US Flag Code), it is the right that gives burning it more significance than that of many other countries. Said rights are in jeopardy and have been for a long time.

As for representatives, I've had some who did (Dick Swett in NH - yes, that was his name, and Bob Casey and Arlen Specter in PA), but most don't. They just send back a canned response without addressing the details of the original contact. That's if they respond at all. Toomey hasn't once responded to an issue, but I'm on his mailing list for unrelated propaganda. He's just a Santorum clone who actually DOES live in PA.



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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 06:17 PM

16. It is a piece of cloth

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 06:18 PM

18. Do not confuse the cylinder-shaped bomb with the rectangular food bag

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 06:20 PM

19. Because it's so flammable?

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 06:20 PM

20. It represents the specific freedom to express love or contempt or anything in between.

 

That includes waving it or burning it. If it offends, then it offends both ways. The call for
outrage is aimed, I'm sorry to say, at Vets and their families, police officers, and their families,
government workers and their families, and anyone else who works in a flag patriotic
environment. And many work under a regulatory flag environment, which means respect and
maintenance of The Flag is a given at all times. At home and definately on the job.

I didn't mention active duty personel because they probably have other things to do
than come to a dogwhistle because someone's whistling. Can't see it. But, their families
and friends will come and give props because and only because they see American
flag somewhere on the heap of the OP's nonsense. They're kicking and reccing for their
loved ones who are also represented by the flag. Thank you for posting.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 06:22 PM

22. Because it is complicated.

Metiforically allegorically etc.

the Union Jack is the same thing. The flag of Britain is a combination of the flags of England Scotland and Wales.

50 stars on a firmament of blue. Thirteen red and white stripes ... how poetic.

But if you want to burn the flag...watch this

Penn and Teller

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Response to Loudmxr (Reply #22)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 07:01 PM

38. //Combination of St George cross, Saltire and the St. Patrick's Cross//

 

Poor Wales doesn't get a look in.

England (St George Cross)


Scotland (Saltire/St Andrews Cross)


Ireland (St Patricks Cross)


Union Flag (1801)


Wales (The Red Dragon)

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 06:27 PM

26. OK... *through the mind of an Afghani*

 

Wow... I get a ton of free stuff, employment, infrastructure and the police aren't quite as corrupt as they used to be. They must want my support. I'll have to give real thought as to whether I should do that or not.

*Wayne's World style screen change*

Ok, back to reality. In case you didn't know. Afghani's aren't the huddle scared little folks that you make them out to be who flee when they hear the sound of an MRAP. They realize that there are people fighting for legitimacy in their eyes and treat everyone with some distance until you earn some trust.

Some like us, some hate us, and most are just trying to get by in a crap country that has not joined the modern world in countless ways.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 06:27 PM

27. As false advertising it's aces.

See my sig line for further explanation.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 06:27 PM

28. Burning one is a stupid tactic that pisses off symbolic thinkers

I condemned it in the 60s because of that and I do now, too.

In fact, it's such a stupid tactic that I'm wondering just who was responsible for it. I'm fairly certain it wasn't the OWS core.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #28)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 06:30 PM

30. the entirety of humanity

are "symbolic thinkers." You and I and everyone else are no different, except in the meaning we attach to those symbols.

Better said that burning the flag affects shallow thinkers. I love the flag and what it represents and part of that is the freedom to burn the flag if you so desire.

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Response to qazplm (Reply #30)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 06:52 PM

33. It's still a stupid tactic

because it allows the evil bastards who exploit those symbolic/shallow thinkers to condemn the whole movement for one stupid act by one or more stupid people who might not even be part of that movement.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #33)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 06:57 PM

36. what's a stupid tactic

I don't generally change doing something for the right reasons simply because someone else might do the same thing for the wrong reasons.

Edit, sorry, you mean flag burning is a stupid tactic. Well, it's not something I would do, but if someone else feels the need, it doesn't affect me much. The folks it does affect would just find something else to be up in arms about.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 06:51 PM

32. Purely symbolic

I feel patriotic toward our flag. It was instilled in me as a child.

But after 9/11 it started to take on those Fascist tendencies related to rampant nationalism.
I lost some respect for the flag, seeing dozens of them hung up behind, Bush during every speech.
Seeing them all over Faux,, during the last election cycle. Made me puke.

Part of the symbolism comes from who is running things and public relations media marketing and advertising. Bush used our flag and soiled It's grandure. Started to remind me of a swastica. Those flag pins made me sick.

If your country commanders your symbol and turns it into something shitty you should be able to protest by what ever free speech is legal. Burning a flag is now illegal. Free speech equals dollars. Can't burn those either.

For what it is worth, I think a person should be allowed to burn the flag as a protest if they want to.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 06:54 PM

34. Let's play the same game with a different perspective

Let's say, the perspective of a person from an impoverished country with a repressive regime who has no opportunity to make a life for themselves above a subsistence level, where there is no chance to get an education, where a person's life expectancy is no greater than 50. And you hope to have children and want for them to have the opportunity to make something more of their lives than would ever have be the case in your country of origin. Let's say your parents find a way to get to the US or to send you to America to live with a relative that made it here legally years earlier. And you get to go to school. And you get a job, not a great job, but something. Maybe working in a little convenience store or in a dry cleaners. And you begin to build a life here that while not the American dream that is depicted in the movies, is still better than anything you could have hoped for in your land of origin. That person's perspective on the flag is likely to be different than the one of the person you described. And both are valid views based on their individual experiences.

I have no doubt that the villager you describe wouldn't be upset at the burning of a US flag. In fact that villager probably wouldn't be upset at the killing of a US soldier. Or a US civilian. And that villager almost certainly doesn't give a rat's ass about OWS or the 99 percent or pretty much anything relating to the US.

On the other hand, there are people here whose family histories include in varying degrees the story of an immigrant that made their way to this country to find a better way of life for themselves and their families and, indeed, did so. A few generations later, a good part of the dream that led some ancestor to this country may well be lost -- crushed by unemployment, economic injustice, religious and racial intolerance. Some of the folks are the ones participating in OWS; others are folks that should be. OWS can serve to educate them and inspire them to become more active in the defense of their own destinies. But first you need to gain their trust. To make them believe that you really are on their side. And you need to accept the reality that many of those people that you are trying to educate, trying to convince still see the flag as representing the dream that led them to a country where their families built a better life than they could ever have had in their country of origin.

I support OWS' efforts to educate and inform and rally the people to seek changes in the way our society functions. But that doesn' t mean that I always agree with the tactics employed by OWS. Frankly, while I think the "occupation" element was a great idea initially, I feel like its running out of steam due to the absence of clear leadership -- something that other movements had -- such as the Civil Rights movement and the anti-war movement in the 60s and 70s. I think that to be successful the movement needs to evolve and become more oriented towards outreach to people than to occupying parks and public spaces.

My two cents.

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Response to onenote (Reply #34)

Thu Feb 2, 2012, 01:19 AM

48. OWS has spent the winter months, doing as you suggest, helping to keep people in their homes

forcing banks to renegotiate loans and each time they save a family from becoming homeless, they enlist more people into the movement. The fact the this one issue is all people seem to know about the movement shows how successful the rightwingers are when they decide to smear anything the decide is coming from the 'left'.

I have seen the families whose homes have been saved by OWS, the first time since this disastrous foreclosure situation began that anyone has stepped forward to help people. Certainly none of their elected officials have done so, the banks have just rolled over people, many times taking away homes illegally. But now they have OWS on their side and they are very, very grateful. In fact, those people, some of them immigrants who did work hard, then lost their jobs, probably see the US as a great country BECAUSE of OWS.

I went to all the rightwing blogs yesterday and saw the faux outrage over the flag burning, although it was not much better here, sadly. It is a very big movement now, there are going to be incidents like this, I fail to see how it helps for the left to join the right in their attempt to destroy it.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 06:54 PM

35. As a retired military officer I feel ...

that the flag is just a symbol. I have no problem with flag burning - the 1st Amendment is one of the rights I was fighting to protect.

I served and fought for many things, some important and others trivial but a flag was not one of them.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 07:00 PM

37. It's a great design from a graphics standpoint.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 07:06 PM

39. What do you think these folks think?

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #39)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 07:39 PM

45. "oh shit the militia is coming"

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 07:19 PM

40. A flag is valueless and insignificant, if it is implanted in hollow earth.

 

The first US flag was implanted in the romantic ideal of ennobling humanity.

After he read the Declaration of Independence, a young Polish engineer was moved to tears; for he discovered that romantic ideal in Mr. Jefferson's words.

His reverence of humanity compelled him to depart from his homeland, and step onto the battlefield to fight for those ideas.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 07:21 PM

41. Loving a symbol is silly. nt

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 07:22 PM

42. people generally root for their

home team. burn a cubs flag outside of wrigley on gameday and you'll probably get punched in the face or worse.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 07:46 PM

46. Our flag represents the ideals this nation was founded upon.

The best ideals any country on earth have been founded upon. The ideals never change. The flag never changes. The people change, and do things in the name of the flag; that the flags ideals may or may not justify. But that does not change the fact the flag is pure as the ideals of liberty and freedom that sewed it together. Burn our flag, prove your idiocy. It's a beautiful symbol.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Thu Feb 2, 2012, 04:21 PM

49. Let's complicate it a little.

 

During WWII, innocent people of Europe also died at the end of our bombs. Did they despise or appreciate our flag?

If you want, you can make it more specific and make it the Jews in Europe at the time.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Thu Feb 2, 2012, 04:52 PM

50. Uff da... nt

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Thu Feb 2, 2012, 04:59 PM

51. Any national flag will cause different reactions in different people

Everyone is generally going to see their own flag as positive. Others will be either unimpressive or fearsome. Depending on where you are, too.

A Japanese flag could recall the horrors of WWII for some. A Soviet flag created a certain fear.

It just depends. If you were lost in a foreign city and happened upon the US flag at the embassy, it would be a good site to see in that case.

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